Dinner for a Dollar at Hamden Episcopal church celebrates first anniversary

HAMDEN — For the past year, “Dinner for a Dollar,” the Friday night dinner ministry of Grace and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, has served a warm, nutritious meal, in a welcoming environment, to all members of the greater Hamden community once every week for a suggested donation of $1.

Dinner for a Dollar is organized by Allison Batson, a parishioner at Grace and St. Peter’s. The program started last year with the guidance of the Rev. Matt Lincoln, rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church, North Haven, and Joan Hunt, community supper coordinator at St. John’s.

Grace and St. Peter’s parishioners not only cook the meals but also attend the weekly dinners, to serve as hosts to our guests from the outlying community, providing fellowship during the meal. All people are welcome, all people are accepted, and all people are treated with dignity.

The meals are cooked in the church kitchen by volunteer members of the parish, who plan the menu, shop for the food, and prepare and serve it. This dinner ministry fills a void for many of the people from the broader community. Many experience financial poverty and the poverty of loneliness, in a community where poverty of any kind is usually hidden.

Dinner for a Dollar feeds about 35 people a week, most of whom are non-parishioners. Many people, from different walks of life, come every week and look forward to this opportunity for a warm, home-cooked meal and the company of others at the dinner each Friday night. Some live in the nearby subsidized senior housing. Some are homeless and/or very poor. Some people come who are financially comfortable, but simply enjoy the food or being with other people at the dinner, or perhaps just receiving a meal without having to cook or do dishes.

A solid community is building up around this weekly meal, with people looking forward to seeing each other week to week, and many, including non-parishioners, taking on roles of extending hospitality to others.

Grace and St. Peter’s wants to thank everyone, volunteers and diners alike, for making this program such a great success and welcomes the whole community to join in the weekly dinners.

Walkers for Connecticut Food Bank raise more than $250,000 in best year yet

EAST HAVEN – Connecticut Food Bank’s 2012 Walks Against Hunger in Bridgeport, New Haven and Waterbury have raised more than $250,000 for hunger-relief efforts in Connecticut. Nearly 2,000 walkers participated in the three walks in late April and May.

The money raised will enable Connecticut Food Bank to transport, warehouse and distribute more than $1.2 million of food at wholesale value for local community agencies such as soup kitchens, shelters, food pantries and adult and child day programs.

“We are grateful to the walkers, donors and sponsors for helping to make 2012 our most successful walk season to date,” said Nancy L. Carrington, Connecticut Food Bank president and CEO. “The support from individuals, businesses, schools, food pantries, civic groups and clubs is overwhelming and will go a long way to help those who struggle to put food on the table every day.”

In Connecticut, more than half of the people who are at risk of hunger do not qualify for federal food assistance and many rely on Connecticut Food Bank’s member programs for help. In Connecticut Food Bank’s service area, more than 300,000 people are food insecure, which means they do not always know where their next meal is coming from.

Sponsors of Connecticut Food Bank’s Walk Against Hunger include presenting sponsor Webster Bank; 99.1 WPLR, Star 99.9, Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield, Bozzuto’s, Chabaso Bread, Cedro Bananas, Coca-Cola, Marcum Accountants, General Mills, Great Event Decorations, ShopRite of Waterbury, Subway, The Farmer’s Cow, Thurston Foods and Whole Foods.

Those wishing to donate to a Walker or Walk Against Hunger team can still do so at http://www.ctfoodbank.org/walk until June 30, 2012.

Connecticut Food Bank serves approximately 600 local emergency food assistance programs in six of Connecticut’s eight counties: Fairfield, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London and Windham. Connecticut Food Bank distributes an average of 33 tons of food every business day.




Connecticut Food Bank, Farmer’s Cow launch ‘More Milk’ campaign for kids

This is an edited press release from Connecticut Food Bank:

EAST HAVEN — Summer is a time of high anxiety for low-income families, who must provide 200 extra meals for each child when school is not in session.

To help make a difference in the lives of these children, The Farmer’s Cow is donating a half gallon of milk to Connecticut Food Bank — up to 5,000 gallons during the months of July and August — for every four electronic greeting cards that are emailed to help spread the word about the problem of summer hunger.

Contrary to what many people believe, the highest demand for food assistance to hungry families is during the summer. “The number of children who have little or no food during the summer months is alarming,” said Nancy L. Carrington, Connecticut Food Bank’s president and CEO. “Nearly one out of every five children in Connecticut is at risk of hunger, which is more than 109,000 children in Connecticut Food Bank’s service area. We are grateful to The Farmer’s Cow for helping us provide hungry children with nutritious milk.”

Summer also is the time of year when food donations are at their lowest, which makes the situation for hungry families even more difficult.

Upon learning about the problem of summer hunger, The Farmer’s Cow, a group of six Connecticut family-owned dairy farms, wanted to do something to help hungry Connecticut families who are dealing with the difficulty of keeping food on the table during the summer months.

“Children should be having fun in the summer, running and playing in the outdoors, not feeling hungry. We want to help Connecticut Food Bank spread the word about the problem of summer hunger, but, even more so, we want to help prevent hunger by providing fresh, local milk to children who can enjoy it,” said Robin Chesmer, managing member of The Farmer’s Cow. “We encourage others to remind their friends and family about their neighbors’ struggle with summer hunger, and help Connecticut children who should be enjoying their summer vacation without feeling hungry.”

The “More Milk” for Hungry Children email campaign will run until July 4. Click here to send the eCard message about summer hunger to friends and family and help Connecticut Food Bank receive 5,000 half gallons of milk, visit www.ctfoodbank.org.

Connecticut Food Bank serves about 600 local emergency food assistance programs in six of Connecticut’s eight counties: Fairfield, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London and Windham. Connecticut Food Bank distributes an average of 33 tons of food every business day.

The Farmer’s Cow is a group of six Connecticut dairy farms that produces fresh, local milk, half and half, heavy cream and ice cream for southern New England. The Farmer’s Cow dairy products are pasteurized the “traditional way” and are never ultra‐pasteurized. The members of The Farmer’s Cow do not use artificial growth hormones (rBST) on any of their cows. They also sell Connecticut‐sourced, all‐natural eggs, apple cider, and seasonal beverages. The Farmer’s Cow’s mission is to promote Connecticut agriculture and show that “Local is Fresh!” For more information visit www.TheFarmersCow.com or call 866-355‐COWS.